Jacksonville, Fla. – Work will continue on the Duval County Shore Protection Project throughout the Sea & Sky Spectacular Airshow this weekend, affecting public access areas along central and north Neptune Beach.
On Saturday, expect 1,000-feet of beach closed to public access from Orange St. to Cedar St. in Neptune Beach.
On Sunday, expect 1,000-feet of beach closed to public access from Atlantic Blvd. at Town Center to Cherry St. in Neptune Beach.
These are projected work areas; the actual areas of beach closure may vary by a few of streets.
No access is permitted behind the work areas on the beach or along the waterline. Beachgoers will need to use 1st St. or 2nd St. to walk around the closed-off construction areas.
Access to the pier and airshow on Saturday is located south of Cedar St. in Neptune Beach. Access to the pier and airshow on Sunday is located south of Cherry St. in Neptune Beach.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District and City of Jacksonville officials remind beachgoers to use caution near the construction areas, keep off the dunes to prevent further degradation, and to stay out of the water during the airshow.
The Duval County Shore Protection Project (SPP) will place sand on seven miles of eroded beaches, including Jacksonville, Neptune and a portion of Atlantic Beach. The beach project will widen the beach berm between 20 to 60 feet, and raise the elevation of the beach by about 3 to 5 feet. The amount of increased beach width and height will vary along the shoreline.
The goal of engineered shore projects is to reduce risk and promote coastal resilience. The Duval County project performed as intended during Hurricane Matthew’s passing in October. Assessments showed that the project performed as designed and drastically reduced landside damages while sustaining a moderate and predictable level of erosion damage.
Both the city and the Corps worked closely to expedite clean-up, surveys, contracts, and construction work along the shoreline since the storm. “Our mutual goal is to quickly restore the protection features as soon as we can,” Project Manager Jason Harrah said.
Shore projects help to reduce the damages – economic, environmental, infrastructure, human health and safety – of tropical storms and hurricanes. Thousands of residents and businesses in Duval County benefit from this project because storm events erode the beach rather than destroying coastal infrastructure. Coastal communities with engineered beaches have historically fared much better than other communities as proven by numerous studies.
The Duval County project was initially constructed in 1978-80 and since then, five principal renourishments occurred (1985-87, 1991, 1995, 2005, and 2011) in addition to periodic placement of sand dredged from navigation projects. Beach renourishment occurs about every five to six years to maintain beaches as part of the project.
The Corps awarded the 2016 construction contract June 28 to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock for $13,572,170. The renourishment is funded in partnership with the City of Jacksonville, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and Duval County; 38.4 percent locally and 61.6 percent federally funded.
For more information about the Duval County Shore Protection Project and weekly updates, go to http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Shore-Protection/Duval-County/ or http://olsen-associates.com/duval/.